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Strikes at refineries push up oil prices

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Lisa Napoli: Today the Euro edged up against the dollar and the yen. And the price of oil is a whisker away from an all time high. One-hundred-twenty bucks a barrel. From London, Stephen Beard says a strike at a British refinery is partly to blame.


Stephen Beard: A local dispute about pensions has helped push up the global price of crude. Workers at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland walked out yesterday in a two-day strike over pension-rights. The action caused a series of knock-on effects. BP depends on the refinery for power to run a key North Sea pipeline. That pipeline’s now been closed temporarily. Seven hundred thousand barrels of oil a day have been lost. And that, says analyst Peter Kemp, has pushed up the all-important benchmark price of North Sea Brent crude.

Peter Kemp: Every other crude, which is priced off Brent, will ramp up accordingly. So, it’s a local problem, which has global ripple effects.

A strike at Exxon facilities in Nigeria is putting similar upward pressure on oil prices. A further sign, says Kemp, of the febrile state of the oil market.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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